NU Online News Service, Dec. 16, 2004, 6:10 p.m. EST

The U.S. life insurance market may be cooling off.[@@]

The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., says North American life insurers checked 4.7% fewer life insurance applications in November than they checked in November 2003.

Strong demand by applicants over age 59 often stabilizes the U.S. activity level, but even demand from older applicants was weak in November, MIB says.

In November, U.S. application activity fell 5.5% for applicants under age 45, 6.2% for applicants between the ages of 45 and 59, and 3.5% for applicants over age 59, MIB says.

The Canadian market has been more active than the U.S. market in most recent months. In November, the Canadian application activity level rose 0.8%.

MIB is a nonprofit group that collects information about individual life insurance customers for most U.S. and Canadian life and health insurance companies. The group uses the search activity statistics for its own databases to compute the life application activity statistics.